There are a record 267 homeless families on the wait list for city-funded shelter rooms in San Francisco. Families on that list are waiting seven months to secure a room. In the meantime, they’re sleeping in emergency shelters, cheap motels and oftentimes in cars.

Daniela Mercado and her three children have been homeless for six months. After being evicted from their Oakland apartment, they relied on their Volvo as a makeshift home in between the emergency shelters and motels. In this video profile, Mercado speaks about the challenges of sleeping in a car on the streets of San Francisco.

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The Mission District has always been Ryan Loughlin’s favorite neighborhood in the City. The tacos of La Taqueria remind him of the food that his host mother used to cook when he was living in Guanajuato, Mexico. As a crime reporter he is getting to know the other side of the area. No, he is not scared (yet). On the contrary, he wants to learn more about all the community organizations that work with kids to keep them off the streets.

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  1. This is incredibly scary and sad.
    Is there anything we can do to help this family? Maybe set up a webpage to find them help including housing?Start a fund?

  2. I would like to help – what are the basics we can do until Daniela and her family can get shelter? Weblink? fund?

    1. Thank you all for your interest in Daniela’s story. If you would like to make a donation to Daniela and/or one of the hundreds of homeless families that are waiting for shelter please contact Lisa Dyas at:

      644-0504 ext 1107

      or she can be reached by e-mail at

      Thank you and happy holidays,

      Ryan Loughlin

      1. This Mother needs to be off the streets. She needs to be in a safe place where she can properly care for her children. That is what Mothers do. What we, Society can do is help her. I am ready to put my money where my mouth is. HOW?
        God Bless
        Charles Stewart

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